Upon the Sand

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

All love that has not friendship for its base
          Is like a mansion built upon the sand.
          Though brave its walls as any in the land,
And its tall turrets lift their heads in grace;
Though skilful and accomplished artists trace
          Most beautiful designs on every hand,
          And gleaming statues in dim niches stand,
And fountains play in some flow'r-hidden place:

Yet, when from the frowning east a sudden gust
          Of adverse fate is blown, or sad rains fall,
          Day in, day out, against its yielding wall,
Lo! the fair structure crumbles to the dust.
          Love, to endure life's sorrow and earth's woe,
          Needs friendship's solid mason-work below.

from Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1883)

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